Two minors who police say planned to rob one of their friends and shot and killed him in the process will stand trial as adults, a Juvenile Court judge ruled.
Attorneys for Dominique Greer, who turned 18 in August, and Franklin J. Wood Jr., 17, argued in court Thursday that trying the teenagers as adults strips them of chances for rehabilitation through the juvenile justice system.
But Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey said that, at this point, both defendants have run out of chances in the juvenile system.
"This is a horrible and brutal crime," Bailey said. "I am not sure if I have a lot of time left for [them]."
The two suspects have been in custody since the July incident.
The hearing to determine whether the two teenagers should be tried as adults lasted for nearly six hours and was peppered with highly emotional testimony from family and friends of the suspects and the victim, Darrian Moore.
Moore's father, Charles Moore, described his 21-year-old son as a good kid who worked part-time as a FedEx driver and had hoped to earn a degree from Chattanooga State Community College.
Darrian Moore lived at home with his parents in Harrison and his father said he was helping his son save money from his job. The father said he would move chunks of his son's paycheck to a savings account every week so the young man wouldn't recklessly spend it.
"I was a very involved father," Charles Moore testified. "I monitored him."
Wood, who prosecutors and police say would later conspire with his friend Greer to force Darrian Moore into handing over those savings, lived right next door and could often be found sleeping over at the Moores' home at 5802 Shady Hollow Lane. Their son had considered Wood a close friend, Charles Moore said.
But in the months leading up to the attempted burglary and fatal shooting in July, their relationship had changed. During Riverbend in June, Darrian Moore and Wood were charged with possession of marijuana and alcohol.
"Darrian was going to stop associating with [Franklin]," his father testified.
Friends of Greer and Wood testified that the two made plans to wear all black and force Darrian Moore at gunpoint to take several thousand dollars out of his savings account because they needed money to create a musical mix tape.
After they had the money in hand, they planned to dump Darrian Moore on the side of a nearby interstate and sell the parts of his car at a scrap yard.
Attorneys for the defendants say neither Greer nor Wood executed the plan and that neither was present at the shooting.
Two friends of the suspects testified that, while Wood had talked about robbing Darrian Moore, they didn't think he participated in the actual shooting.
Darrian Moore's parents sobbed, listening to testimony about how the teenagers allegedly crafted a plan to rob their son.
The last thing they ever heard from their son were muffled words on a cell phone. As he lay dying from a gunshot wound to the head in his car, the engine still running in the driveway of his home, he called his parents inside.
He only said two words, his father testified.